Sunday, April 18, 2010

Rave: Scotland!

Readers, this Rave is very close to my heart. I speak of my ancestral homeland, a place of lochs, badass militia men and windswept moors. I speak, of course, of Scotland.


While my name suggests that I am perhaps Italian, it is not so [that is a whole other side of the family]; my forebears hailed mostly from the most rocking country in the Northern Hemisphere. I mentioned a while ago that even my map-of-the-world shower curtain doesn't give Scotland any respect, let alone the rest of the world. I hope that this exhaustive discussion of fair Alba will persuade you that I am indeed sprung from the loins of greatness. So, without further ado, I present: Reasons why Scotland is Awesome.

1. I am from there.

2. If one is from Scotland, one gets their own tartan and motto
That's right. On my fridge right now is a sweet magnet which contains my clan's tartan (a beguiling mix of green, grey, orange and brown -aww yeah!) and our motto which I will keep to myself for fear of clan identity theft. Isn't it dreamy? Don't you just want to drape your entire self with this magnificent melange of color and pattern?


Do you have that on your fridge? No, you probably just have some wack-ass drawing by your spawn:


(just to let you know, you are the only one who can even tell, or cares, what that shit is supposed to be). 

3. It looks like this:
Normally, I'm more of a idyllic beach girl, but these vistas make me want to have a torrid love affair with some dark-skinned foundling my father discovered on the streets of Liverpool.





This scenery also appeals to my dream of living in a run down country estate in which I sit in an old wheelchair, knees covered with a tartan blanket and drink copious amounts of Laudenum as I pine for my lost youth.


4. It has badasses of a scope, depth and breadth unheard of in any other place.
To wit:
William Wallace:


A hardcore 13th century freedom fighter, William Wallace was one of Scotland's biggest badasses. Weighing in at 6"7' and lord knows how many pounds, Wallace was man enough to wield this beauty:


The Wallace Sword, which is 5 foot 6 inches of pure fire-forged English-killing fury. To add to its amazingness, and Wallace's badassery, consider the following: 

After his stunning victory at the Battle of Stirling Bridge, the English left 5,000 dead on the field, including their despised treasurer, Hugh Cressingham. One of Cressingham's most bastardly acts was to order that all wool produced in Scotland was to be confiscated and sent to England, leading to increased hardship for the locals. For heaven's sake man, you do not mess with a Scot's wool! 

If you had your druthers what would you have done to this man? Kick him in the guts a little? Perhaps spit on him, or take a sweet new Facebook profile pic next to your spoils of war? Not William Wallace, he flayed (!) Cressingham and used his skin as both a trophy of victory, and to make a belt for his sword. What?! I don't have a single accessory made of human bark; I am such a loser.


Desmond Hume:


My constant, and arguably one of the most romantic fictional heroes to emerge in modern history, Desmond is a modern-day Odysseus. He can withstand electromagnetic energy, gets kicked out of the Army and the clergy and manages to remember his ride-or-die, Penny, despite jumping across parallel universes.

This is how the Manimal and I would be if we are ever stranded on a weird island, skipping through time, except that instead of being all, "I luv yoo Pennay!", the Manimal [who has English blood] would use the opportunity to scream, "Ronnie, where the hell are my keyyys?!"


Video: Desmond Penny Phone Call   Etiketler: desmond, lost, dizi

Anyway, while Jack stands around crying and being annoying:

and Sayid's hair veers dangerously close to Soul Glow territory, Desmond calmly proceeds to TCB. You know why? Because he's from Scotland, brutha.

Begbie:

Begbie doesn't play. How many times have you wanted to casually lob a beer mug over a balcony and into a sea of hipsters when you're out on a Saturday night? All the time, right? Well if you were Scottish, maybe you'd take your skirt off, stop being such a Sally and do it.



Macbeth:


Even before he went all crazy and killed Duncan, Macbeth was one huge badass. In fact, Macbeth is solely responsible for opening up a well deserved can of Whup Ass on pesky traitor Macdonwald. Does Macbeth simply slay this quisling and move on? No! Instead:
 

Disdaining fortune, with his brandish'd steel,
Which smoked with bloody execution,
Like valour's minion carved out his passage
Till he faced the slave;
Which ne'er shook hands, nor bade farewell to him,
Till he unseam'd him from the nave to the chaps,
And fix'd his head upon our battlements.


That's right readers, Macbeth slices him from belly button to chin, then cuts his head off and displays it out front of Cawdor Castle. My old landlord used to do this very thing to thugs who tried to touch his 1982 Chevy. On a related note, how much do you want to be described as the "minion" of valour? I am more like chocolate's minion, but it's good to have dreams.


Unfortunately, Macbeth does let his awesomeness get to his head and begins to use his powers for evil. However, his fighting spirit remains and I think we can all respect the fact that instead of wussying out *cough* Lady Macbeth *cough*, Macbeth muses to himself:

I am in blood 
Stepp'd in so far, that, should I wade no more
Returning were as tedious as go o'er.

Sometimes, when you are elbow deep in the guts of your poor decisions, it is easier to say a big old "Screw It" and keep going.  Chin up big man, you flew too close to the sun and got burned, but at least you were from Scotland.

5. The Coat of Arms.
Now, I'm not hating on any other country's coat of arms, but Scotland's is really, really awesome. Of course I refer to its pre-Acts of Union incarnation [note to Scottish readers: 2010 Independence Referendum coming up in November. Don't be like my Australian compatriots who bitched and moaned about independence, but then decided to go to the movies or something rather than actually voting. Good work, losers].

Upon first glance, you might say "Alright Ronnie, it looks like the crest of any other nation. BFD." Well, I would say to you that this is not like any other crest because, firstly, it has chained.freaking.unicorns on it.

What's so cool about that? I'll tell you. You may think unicorns are sissy, but that's not so, not so at all. In fact, I do not know where the modern connotation of a unicorn as a pink, sparkly rainbow-loving rejects began, but it couldn't be more wrong. Unicorns were fearsome mythical beasts who could not be captured, or tamed.

The ones on Scotland's Coat of Arms are chained; that's right, Scots can catch and imprison the most fearsome of all animals. Combine this with the lions, daggers and the other formidable features of this national symbol and you'll understand why it's so awesome.

On that note, I'd like to say something to a few other countries. I won't name any names but let me just say that if you want to be taken seriously, you may want to reconsider your own choices in escutcheon supporters. For example:


Seals? Really? Guys, no one is going to hesitate about whether or not to invade you if you have fricken seals on your national crest. What are you going to do, use baby-seal-cuteness-power to vanquish your enemies? Come on!


 Terrifying.


Same with this one. Oooh, a swordfish and a flamingo! I'm shaking in my boots. And I'm sure that conch shell in your helm is really going to do something in the event of an onslaught. Riight.

Anyway, Scotland has a cool emblem. Also, the motto on the bottom is one which I have adopted for my own life: Nemo me impune lacessit: No one provokes me with impunity

6. Sporrans
How many times have you found yourself wearing a garment with no pockets and wishing there was an alternative to a purse, or a fanny pack? If you live in Williamsburg, like this pathetic excuse for a human below, probably never.
[Someone should alert his parents that he's spending their hard-earned money on heinous fashion.]

But, for the rest of us, I have the solution: a sporran!
According to Wikipedia, "the sporran is worn on a leather strap or chain, conventionally positioned in front of the groin of the wearer." Stylish, and it prevents pick pockets. It takes a brave thief, one with the nimble fingers of Fagin, to dare snatch something from a purse attached to someone's groin.

In addition to it's functionality, the sporran can be dressed up or down. Behold, a regular "daytime" sporran:



You know this guy gets all the ladies:




But what if you have a soiree to attend? No matter, just upgrade to a "dress sporran".


Fancy.
And just in case you thought sporrans were only for the boys, here's Mrs. Sean Connery modeling a delightful dress sporran at a black tie event:

*An aside: This lady looks like a whole mess of fun. I really want to hit the tiles with her, although it looks as if she's already been hitting the flask she has secreted away in her sporran. Sean's uneasy smile, and iron grip,  speak volumes.

But, in my mind, the finest of all sporrans available are the "full mask" sporrans. These little beauties come in many varieties, and all are completely awesome. I checked out www.licensetokilt.com and found such gems as the "silver fox" sporran:


And the stylin' skunk sporran:

But, in my mind, the creme de la creme of sporrans is this creation: the "Swinging Six Badger" sporran. This, my friends, is the sporran that God wears:

 Raise your glasses to sporrans!

Any man who wears a badger over his privates is alright by me!

Well, there you have it; Scotland finally receives its well-deserved props. I didn't even get to mention the fact that Scots were responsible for inventing a few pretty useful things like:
the steam engine, the bicycle, tarmac roads, the telephone, television, the transistor, the motion picture, electromagnetics, radar, insulin and calculus, oh and a little thing called PENI-FREAKING-CILLIN!

That's right, next time you have to go down to the pharmacy to renew your script for antibiotics because your syphillis is flaring up, or your inferior (non-Scottish) genes have rendered you ill, you can thank your lucky stars that this fair land exists.

Alba gu brĂ th!

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